Radeon 8500 review (All BIOSes)

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
January 5, 2002
Views
56253
The Radeon 8500 and all three BIOSes compared!
Tags RAM

Page 1: Intro, Overview

<b>Introduction:</b><br>
As you may know, there are plenty of Radeon 8500 reviews out there already. I'm not only going to go over the numbers of the card itself, but how I turned this humble little Radeon LELE into a retail Radeon, in the process, saving a pretty penny. Please don't try to upgrade your Radeon unless you are sure that you have tested it to make sure it will work or you are a complete nut like me and just did it. Since this is my first real video card review, all the options that I wanted to test didn't work correctly for me so this review may be a bit light on the benchmarks, but there is enough to determine the quality of the card. Now, on to the background about the card.<br><br>

<b>Background</b><br>I bought this card from the great people at Newegg. It was labeled the Radeon 8500 LE OEM. It also said that the clock and memory where set at 230/230mhz. I thought this was a bit low and I ordered it anyway thinking that the card should come with the standard LE settings of 250/250. Upon receiving the card, I ran some benchmarks on it and it was absolutely stunning with its original state. In the duration of this article, I shall call the original BIOS the 'Newegg' BIOS.<br><br>Since I was relatively happy with the performance, why should I want to potentially ruin my card by upgrading the BIOS of the card? Simple, when your a gamer, frame-rate is life. That and your ping are very important!<br><br>
<b>Card features</b>: (Ripped from ATI's website)<br>
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<font color=#ff0000><b>Overview</font><br></b>
<br><b>At-a-glance<br></b>
<ul><li>Powered by the revolutionary RADEON&#8482; 8500 &#8211; world&#8217;s fastest and most advanced graphics processing unit (GPU)</li><br><li>Features ATI's <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/truform/truform.html">TRUFORM&#8482;</a>, <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/smartshader/smartshader.html">SMARTSHADER&#8482;,</a> <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/smoothvision/smoothvision.pdf">SMOOTHVISION&#8482;</a>, and HYPER&#8482; Z II technologies</li><br><li>The only GPU to support DirectX® 8.1</li><br><li>Supports OpenGL® 1.3 features</li><br><li>64MB of powerful double data rate (DDR) memory</li><br><li>Latest 3D games support the advanced features of RADEON&#8482; 8500</li><br><li>Dual monitor and Video output support</li><br><li>Industry-leading DVD video playback</li><br><li>Digital Flat Panel (DVI) support</li><br><li>Supports 3D resolutions (32-bit color) up to 2048x1536</li><br><li>AGP universal bus (for AGP 2X/4X systems)</li><br>

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<font color=#ff0000><b>Features</font><br></b>

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<b>Unsurpassed 3D gaming<br></b>
<ul><li>Powered by the revolutionary RADEON&#8482; 8500 GPU and 64MB of DDR memory for the fastest and most advanced 3D graphics on the market</li><br><li>Features ATI&#8217;s innovative <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/truform/truform.html">TRUFORM&#8482;</a> technology that makes the outlines of 3D characters and objects look smoother and more natural than ever before</li><br><li>High resolution 32-bit 3D gaming up to 2048x1536</li><br><li>ATI&#8217;s HYPER Z&#8482; II technology conserves memory bandwidth for improved performance in demanding applications and boosts effective bandwidth by over 25% </li><br><li>SMOOTHVISION&#8482; anti-aliasing &#8211; the most advanced anti-aliasing to eliminate distracting visual artifacts for smoother looking images and without serious performance compromise</li><br>
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<b>Best visual effects<br></b>
<ul><li>ATI&#8217;s new <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/smartshader/smartshader.html">SMARTSHADER&#8482;</a> technology takes advantage of the DirectX® 8.1 features to enable more complex and realistic texture and lighting effects </li><br><li>The only graphics board to support DirectX® 8.1</li><br><li>Best performance for today&#8217;s and tomorrow&#8217;s demanding applications</li><br><li>Full support and compliance with OpenGL® 1.3 applications</li><br><li>CHARISMA ENGINE&#8482; II supports full Transformation, Clipping and Lighting (T&L) at 75 million triangles/second peak processing capability</li><br><li>PIXEL TAPESTRY&#8482; II, the RADEON&#8482; 8500 3D rendering engine, powers an incredible 2.4 Gigatexels per second for the highest fill rates in 32-bit at high resolutions</li><br>
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<b>Dual monitor support<br></b>
<ul><li>Leading-edge HydraVision&#8482; technology supports traditional CRT monitors, flat panel displays and TVs</li><br><li>Multi-task with MultiDesk &#8211; play multi-monitor games, or work in different applications on each monitor without having to switch back-and-forth</li><br><li>Assign &#8216;Hot Key&#8217; shortcuts for the most used functions</li><br><li>Vary settings from one application to the next, or choose global settings that determine the behavior of windows and dialog boxes for all applications in your multi-monitor environment</li><br><li>Learn more about <a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/products/pc/hydrademo/choose.html">HYDRAVISION&#8482; </a></li><br>
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<b>Industry-leading video playback<br></b>
<ul><li>ATI&#8217;s VIDEO IMMERSION&#8482; II technology enables integration of industry-leading digital video features, including advanced de-interlacing algorithms for unprecedented video quality and integrated digital TV decode capability</li><br><li>Includes programmable gamma for the overlay and Frame Rate Conversion (Temporal Filtering)</li><br><li>Hardware DVD saves the expense of buying a separate MPEG-2/DVD decoder card and motion compensation allows for DVD decoding with minimum CPU usage</li><br><li>HDTV ready</li><br>
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<b>DVI and TV/Video output support<br></b>
<ul><li>RADEON&#8482; 8500 uses RAGE THEATER&#8482; companion chip for high quality video output</li><br><li>Features 165MHz integrated TMDS transmitter to support DVI up to UXGA (1600x1200) resolution</li><br><li>Get all of the incredible 3D and DVD of RADEON&#8482; 8500 with the benefit of flat panels &#8211; crisper images, significantly reduced eyestrain and space savings</li><br><li>Use video-out to connect your PC to TV or VCR</li><br>
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<font color=#ff0000><b>Specifications</font><br></b>
<br><b>System requirements<br></b>
<ul><li>Pentium® 4/III/II/Celeron&#8482;, AMD® K6/Athlon® or compatible with AGP 2X or AGP 2X/4X universal slot</li><br><li>64MB of system memory</li><br><li>Installation software requires CD-ROM drive</li><br><li>DVD playback requires DVD drive</li><br>
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<b>Graphics controller <br></b>
<ul><li>RADEON&#8482; 8500 graphics processing unit (GPU)</li><br>
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<b>Memory configuration<br></b>
<ul><li>64MB of double data rate memory</li><br>
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<b>Operating systems support<br></b>
<ul><li>Windows® 98/98SE</li><br><li>Windows® Me</li><br><li>Windows® 2000</li><br><li>Windows® XP</li><br>
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<b>Monitor support <br></b>
<ul><li>CRT Monitor: 15-pin VGA connector</li><br><li>TV and VCR: s-video or composite connector</li><br><li>DVI-I (flat panel display) connector</li><br>
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<b>Display support<br></b>
<ul><li>Register compatible with VGA</li><br><li>BIOS compatible with VESA for super VGA</li><br><li>DDC1/2b/2b+ monitor support</li><br><li>VESA Display Power Management Support</li><br><li>Separate horizontal and vertical synchronization at TTL levels</li><br>
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<b>Features <br></b>
<ul><li><a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/truform/truform.html">TRUFORM&#8482;</a></li><br><li><a href="http://www.ati.com/na/pages/technology/hardware/smartshader/smartshader.html">SMARTSHADER&#8482;</a></li><br><li>DirectX® 8.1 support</li><br><li>OpenGL® 1.3</li><br><li>SMOOTHVISION&#8482; anti-aliasing</li><br><li>HYPER Z&#8482; II</li><br><li>CHARISMA ENGINE&#8482; II</li><br><li>PIXEL TAPESTRY&#8482; II</li><br><li>VIDEO IMMERSION&#8482; II</li><br><li>High Performance Memory Support</li><br><li>Dual Display Support</li><br><li>Integrated Transformation, Clipping and Lighting</li><br><li>Twin Cache Architecture</li><br><li>SuperScalar Rendering</li><br><li>Single-Pass Multi-texturing</li><br><li>True Color Rendering</li><br><li>Triangle Setup Engine</li><br><li>Texture Cache</li><br><li>Bilinear/Trilinear Filtering</li><br><li>Line & Edge Anti-aliasing</li><br><li>Full-Screen Anti-aliasing</li><br><li>Texture Compositing</li><br><li>Texture Decompression</li><br><li>Specular Highlights</li><br><li>Perspectively Correct Texture Mapping</li><br><li>Mip-Mapping</li><br><li>Z-buffering and Double-buffering</li><br><li>Emboss, Dot Product 3 and Environment bump mapping</li><br><li>Spherical, Dual-Paraboloid and Cubic environment mapping</li><br><li>Fog effects, texture lighting, video textures, reflections, shadows, spotlights, LOD biasing and texture morphing</li><br>
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